At CES 2020, Patriot One Technologies explained its PATSCAN platform, which can detect hidden weapons and more without the perpetrator even knowing they've been scanned.
At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, TechRepublic's Teena Maddox spoke with Patriot One Technologies CEO and President Martin Cronin about the PATSCAN platform and how it can aid in public safety through threat detection. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Martin Cronin: What Patriot One is all about is public safety through threat detection. And our philosophy of detection is that people should be able to go about their business unimpeded and not have to go through thick security checkpoints to be wanded, padded down, every time they go into a hotel or a shopping mall or anywhere where the public may be at risk of acts of violence.
What we've developed is a number of sensors that can be concealed, so they can be covert and unobtrusive, allowing people to pass through with their everyday objects unimpeded. But when a weapon is present, whether overt or concealed, we can generate an alert. Everything is powered by artificial intelligence. So we have algorithms that have been trained to recognize weapons from the signatures we get through tartaric biomagnetic resonance, through cognitive microwave radar, or through video object recognition.
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We have a number of different sensors on a common platform that are called PATSCAN. What we have in this room is some of the sort of fixtures in which these systems can be concealed. So, for example, advertising boxes of the sort you see in most of the major hotels here in Las Vegas, planter pots, we have a variety of designs.
They're a kind of a nice attractive fixture that again, you see in many different environments in the education sector, corporate sector, health, tourism and hospitality, etc. So it's all about allowing the public to go about their business without obvious heavy security, but making them safer wherever they go by detecting threats.
Well often, unfortunately security are having to respond to an attack in progress. The idea about being able to do this covert detection is to be preemptive and to prevent attacks from happening. Now, to be clear, the presence of a weapon doesn't always equal a threat. In concealed carry states, there are many law abiding citizens lawfully carrying weapons. So this is an information system to empower humans to make good decisions.
If you know that a weapon is present and then somebody is acting in a suspicious manner, that's good information to have. If it's a school and you see a weapon coming in, well you're probably going to mount an immediate response. If it's a hotel in Vegas or a shopping mall in Texas, as I say, the presence of a weapon doesn't always equal threat. So this is about giving information, good information to security decision makers so that they can decide how to respond in an appropriate manner but to get on top of threats.
We're focused on all types of guns, long barrel weapons and handguns as well as bladed weapons. We also through these systems can detect the presence of an anomalous quantity of metal. For example, a person born IED with all that metal shrapnel. We also have a joint venture down in Dallas, Texas with SoTech Secure, which is detecting explosives through chemical sensing, standoff explosive detection, by sensing the presence of explosives in the air. So we have a variety of different sensors operating on a common platform.
We've just now been going out on our initial commercial deployments and we're in a number of sectors. Education is where we have very, very strong interest. We've been working with the University of North Dakota for quite some time now--we have a Center of Excellence there. We're into another university, some high schools in West Virginia.
The health sector is very strongly interested in weapons detection. Of course, the tourism and hospitality sector and Westgate is by no means the only hotel group that we're working with. And then stadiums and event centers. We recently announced, we're working with the Cincinnati Reds. So it's really anywhere where the public gather and risk of acts of violence are places where our technology could apply.
We know that people in Western societies don't want to live in a mass surveillance state. So we don't gather any personal information, we don't store or transmit any personal data, we don't generate body images in the way that some other technologies do, the sort of scanners you see in an airport. So people are actually of no interest to us unless they're carrying a threat--they only become of interest when the threat is detected.
What our sensors are looking for is the presence of a weapon. We're not making a determination on whether somebody is a suspicious individual or not. We leave that to security. Our job is to empower security by giving them information on the presence of a weapon. So in that sense we stay on very clearly on the right side of the line when it comes to civil liberties and personal privacy.
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